The Chicago Debate League relies on a large network of volunteers—college students, debate league alumni, professionals in the community, parents, and teachers—to help our debate program thrive. There are a variety of ways to get involved with the League.


Tournament Judges

We need judges to give our students the opportunity to debate at tournaments! No experience is required; we will train you to be an effective judge. Judges have the option to volunteer for a half-day or full day. We offer judge volunteers a small stipend and lunch.

Tournament Operations

Not ready to become a tournament judge? You can help make sure tournaments run smoothly, assisting with registration, meals, and running the information table. We offer tournament operation volunteers a small stipend and lunch.

External Debate Coach

Coach a specific school’s debate team on an ongoing basis. Coaching occurs weekly at the school during school hours, and at six weekend tournaments per year. External coaches can work in either a paid or volunteer capacity. The position requires prescreening as well as a deep commitment to coaching debate. Ongoing training and support are provided by the CDC.

Interested in Having a Debate Team at your School?

For a list of current CDL schools, click here. Please contact us if your Chicago school isn’t on the list and you want to learn about what it takes to start a debate team.